Dominant Gravesend secure great win
Fourth place CS Rugby 1863, found nothing easy at Rectory Field on Saturday, playing a Gss XV growing in confidence from two earlier wins.
Facing a side that had secured six try scoring bonus points from their eight games played to date, Gravesend showed there would be little count taken of that as they immediately took the game to their visitors territory.
Gss forwards, who were dominant throughout the afternoon, put pressure on their opposite numbers from the off leading to a penalty chance just two minutes into the play.
A long range kick, superbly struck by Dave Dorton
, flew between the uprights to put Gss on the board.
Two minutes later and Dave Dorton
had doubled his tally with another well struck long effort, 6-0.
Gravesend's pack had asserted their authority on this game, and were setting the platform for the game going forward, but it was a half-chance and missed tackles that let CS into the game and the opportunity was relished by visiting hooker, Josh Forrester, as he beat off the attention of poor Gss defending to touch down.
Fly-half Tom Jones stepped forward to put the extra two points on the board to give the visitors a 6-7 advantage after just six minutes on the park.
Big hitting runs from Cameron Barbour in the centre, a variation on angled runs from Tom Goss
and Temi Okenla
, were all being foiled by some fine strong defending by the visitors and when it came to the breakdown, the ball securing by Tom Bird, Geoff Marshall
, Matt Hewitt
and Zac Lewis
, was second to none.
Several phases carrying the ball forward by Gss pack, and it was Zac Lewis
who had the ball down across the whitewash after others had gone close. Another excellent conversion from the boot of Dave Dorton
and Gss entered the second quarter with a 13-7 lead.
CS were having a climbing penalty count against them as they continually kept hold of the ball after the tackle, and with Dorton on song it wasn't long before he edged Gss further ahead 16-7.
Incredibly, with such a plethora of possession, coming from the pressure from GLEN RADEMAN
, Geoff Marshall
and the quickly up backs that allowed little room for the opposition to operate in, and stopped any breaks outs.
The sound platform from the steadfast Cutting, Luck and Meyer, supported by the back five forwards, was so sound that many of the visitors scrummaged ball was taken going backwards, giving Gss three-quarters time to close the visiting backs down and give them little room to attack from.
Ten minutes from the break and the returning Will Meddings
finished off another of the speedy breaks and swift passing that until then had not been rewarded when he ran through wide out. Dorton's tee shot went wide, and it was surprising that he didn't get more chances before the interval, but going in 21-7 was well deserved.
The willingness of Gravesend to run the ball at every opportunity delighted those spectators who had stayed away from the clubhouse screens where the international was being broadcast (much more exciting on the patio), and it wasn't long for their steadfast support to be rewarded when Temi Okenla
took the final pass that had been interchanged through the hands of the backs, to chase in for the try.
Needless to say that Dave Dorton
, Gss leading points scorer added the extras for 28-7.
More of the good stuff was to follow, great turnover ball with skipper Tom Bird leading from the front as he attacked the breakdown, and with scrum half Brad Smith ensuring a speedy service from the base, CS found they were under pressure from all directions and before the end of the third quarter, Tom Goss
had finished off another of the backs combined cross field attacks as they created the space for the speedy veteran to chase through.
Dorton slotted over from the tee and Gss looked invincible at 35-7.
CS lost a player to the sin bin after sixty-two minutes, but they upped their game to the point that they stifled Gss play, and this with Gss ringing the changes and perhaps taking their foot off the gas, saw their visitors make a come back in the last ten minutes.
Seventy-one minutes, and one of the few attacks from CS to get close to Gss twenty-two saw the light footed Tobias Guyett that ghosted past what little defence was in place. Tom Jones added the coversion that lifted the score to 35-14.
An uncharacteristic complacency had come into Gss game, and with two minutes to play CS added a third try taking the score to a flattering 35-19, but that was as far as it went before the final whistle.
Next week away to Cobham for a 14.00 kick-off.